When two recently engaged lovebirds go for a walk in the Tahoe woods, their peace and quiet is interrupted by a vicious mythical yeti. Thankfully, with some ingenuity of their own and their trusty four legged pal, they overcome disaster and make it out alive and more in love than ever.

The Backstory

Big thanks to Jamie and Kristen, who not only came up with this ridiculous and amazing idea for an engagement session, but also wrote the script, cast the yeti (awards and accolades to Zoë in her debut engagement session acting role), and entrusted me and my incredible unfiltered excitement for this unconventional engagement session.  I mean, let’s be real here: this is clearly some of my finest work yet.  Not only am I thankful to really put that expensive film degree to work, but I am incredibly happy to have been connected with this rad couple thanks to Thumbtack.  After putting this together, I am seriously brimming with anticipation for their 2017 wedding in Estes Park, CO.   I don’t think this can ever be topped, though Dr. Who is definitely an equal.

I am an unconventional wedding photographer that believes in bucking tradition.  As such, any chance I get to also photograph unconventional engagement sessions also brings me joy.  To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever trump the creativity and plan that Jamie and Kristen brought to their unconventional engagement session, but y’all – if you are out there in the world and looking for someone to embrace your wacky idea, that person is ME.

If you are also a professional photographer and you want to unleash your creativity and deliver unconventional engagement sessions to your couples, I have a few tips and tricks to share.

  1. Embrace ALL couples: It is unfortunately very common in the world of wedding photography that only certain aesthetics get shared on the internet. When I first started out as a photographer and routinely went to educational seminars, workshops and retreats, the educators routinely told people to only “show the kind of work they want to attract.” This means that the cross section of work shown on the internet often skews towards blond, skinny, attractive, straight couples that fit whatever trend is currently en vogue. FUCK THAT.  I want the kind of couples that believe in themselves, aren’t afraid to buck tradition, and just want to be authentically true to their passions, desires and hobbies. I show everything.
  2. Understand Your Couple’s Story: Before you pick up your camera, take the time to understand the couple and what makes them tick.  I once did a Doctor Who themed engagement session. I knew nothing about Doctor Who going in and by the time we had our consultation I had watched a few seasons, had some ideas for episodes to recreate, and spent time getting to know the couple who also loved Magic the Gathering (that was the theme of their wedding).  Tailoring your photography to your couple’s origin story will create a more personal and unconventional/nontraditional engagement sessions.
  3. Scout Unconventional Locations: Break away from traditional engagement photo settings. Explore urban landscapes, abandoned buildings, art installations, or even natural wonders. Unconventional locations add an element of surprise and uniqueness to your photography.
  4. Play with Lighting: Experiment with different lighting setups to create mood and drama. Use natural light during the golden hour for a warm, romantic glow, or employ artificial lighting to highlight specific elements in a more edgy way.
  5. Encourage Authenticity
  6. Focus on Composition: Break free from traditional composition rules. Experiment with asymmetry, unusual angles, and framing to create visually striking and unconventional images.